Scooters & Mopeds
Scooters and mopeds sit at the softer end of the motorcycle spectrum, not designed for those who are intent on speed but rather for consumers who want style, comfort and a way to get around that is quicker than walking and cheaper than owning a car. Let us take a brief look at the differences between the two and the types of vehicle you might find within this category.
A scooter can be easily identified from other motorcycles because of its small wheels and flat floorboard which allows the rider to sit with their feet in front rather than astride the vehicle as is the case with other types of two wheeled transport. The inception of scooters can be traced back to around 1915 and following the First World War, the availability and number of manufacturers working on this motorcycle derivative blossomed. Suspension, multiple gears and a shield to protect the driver’s legs were eventually added.
By the 1960s the design of scooters had become even more refined and the Italian manufacturer Piaggio created the seminal Vespa scooter, which subsequently informed and influenced those that would follow as well as becoming intricately linked with the culture of the time. By the time the 1980s rolled around a slew of Japanese manufacturers were invading the western market with scooters, some of which could support more than one rider.
The scooter has become particularly popular amongst those living in cramped urbanised areas because of its superior economy and small size. Budget prices also mean that scooters have become the standard mode of transport in developing areas where cars are too expensive to run.
Mopeds are not entirely detached from scooters but they definitely sit in a distinct section of the market. They also date back to the beginning of the last century but bring in more influences from the early bicycles, with the name hinting at the fact that many original models used pedals as a means to provide extra power and get the motor started. Originally the motor was there to supplement the pedal power and not the other way around and mopeds have held onto the status of a cheap, simple runaround, with most models featuring small engines and restricted speeds. They are great for local use and not too dangerous given the limited protection they offer.
Larger wheels and the lack of a footplate mark out mopeds from their scooter siblings, but in most cases they can be considered in the same breath. The one other significant thing they perhaps lack is the vintage style or urban chic which is attached to scooters, but this does make them much more suitable for new riders who can scuff and scrape their rugged exteriors without worrying about doing expensive damage.
Choosing between a moped and a scooter can be relatively difficult, but given that both possess many of the same basic features in terms of power it can largely be down to personal preference. Mopeds are arguably more masculine, although the rakish European style scooters are stylish for any gender.
Scooters & Mopeds
Article on the differences between Scooters & Mopeds, along with a brief history.
An in-depth look at Scooters & Mopeds by Mark Taylor on August 22, 2013
Scooters and mopeds sit at the softer end of the motorcycle spectrum, not designed for those who are intent on speed but rather for consumers who want style, comfort and a way to get around that is quicker than walking and cheaper than owning a car.